Each week, LD OnLine gathers interesting news headlines about learning disabilities and ADHD issues. Please note that LD OnLine does not necessarily endorse these views or any others on these outside websites.
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Pittsburgh Kids + Creativity Network
"'You can’t flunk at a museum,' says Jane Werner. The executive director of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh sees museums as labs that can inspire the next generation of artists, scientists, engineers and their teachers."
"Summer is here! But along with warmer weather, trips to the pool and the Fourth of July, comes a not-so-fun reality... the summer slide. Too often students scowl at the idea of summer learning, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, summer is the perfect time to dive into some fun, engaging learning activities."
Eye to Eye
Eye to Eye is calling for trainee sponsors to help fund this summer's program:"This is our most transformative annual training, with over 100 chapter leaders coming together to learn leadership skills they'll use at their chapters during the coming academic year—and in life. They'll also hear valuable advice from national leaders with LD / ADHD, including Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, who shares his inspiring story of dyslexia in this year's welcome address."
The Chicago Tribune
"It's well known that the cause of ADHD is strongly genetic but also linked to brain development, experts said. While previous studies have shown that in-utero exposure to ischemic-hypoxic conditions — complications that deprive the brain of oxygen — often lead to brain injury and developmental problems, Kaiser Permanente's study published in Pediatrics journal shows children who experience prenatal IHCs have a 16 percent greater chance overall of developing ADHD."
The Wall Street Journal
"Researchers have long observed that some dyslexics have an easier time with languages like Japanese and Chinese, in which characters represent complete words or ideas, than they do with languages like English, which use separate letters and sounds to form words."
New York Times
"Grouping students by ability level in the classroom is back. 'Ability grouping and its close cousin, tracking, in which children take different classes based on their proficiency levels, fell out of favor in the late 1980s and the 1990s as critics charged that they perpetuated inequality by trapping poor and minority students in low-level groups,' Vivian Yee wrote in The Times’s Education section."
"Almost one-third of children with autism also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and symptoms appear to be more severe in kids affected by both conditions, new research suggests. The findings come from a long-term study of 162 children who were tracked starting when they were still infants or toddlers. By the time the kids reached ages 4 through 8, researchers found that 63 had autism. Of those with the developmental disorder, parent reports indicated that 18 of the children — or about 29 percent — also had clinically significant symptoms of ADHD."
"Children with disabilities are among the world’s most marginalized people, often going undocumented from birth and facing rampant discrimination, according to a new report from the United Nations Children’s Fund."
"Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said he is currently working to bring a reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act up for consideration. As part of that process, Harkin said this week that he would like to see vocational rehabilitation agencies take a bigger role in facilitating internships and other real-world experiences for students with disabilities who are in transition."
"Combating learning loss over the summer for young readers is a challenge that many teachers face. The amount of time it takes to assign summer reading along with the lack of face time to keep students up to date with their reading and comprehension can make summer reading seem like a less-than-useful task."
The New York Times
"A United Nations report, “The State of the World’s Children,” underscores the moral bankruptcy of Senate Republicans who blocked ratification of a treaty to help disabled people around the world. There is scant data on how many children have such disabilities or how their lives are affected. One outdated estimate is that some 93 million children, one in 20 of those 14 or younger, live with a moderate or severe disability of some kind. The issue is how they might be helped to overcome their disabilities and become productive members of their societies."
National Council of Teachers of English
"Writing is a highly complex ability developed over years of practice, across a wide range of tasks and contexts, and with copious, meaningful feedback. Students must have this kind of sustained experience to meet the demands of higher education, the needs of a 21st-century workforce, the challenges of civic participation, and the realization of full, meaningful lives."
The New York Times
"Apps are all about the basic skills of reading. But once a child has mastered “the cat sat on the mat,” it shouldn’t be too long before the youngster will be reading himself to sleep — if a parent is willing to give up that task."
"As a new round of budget talks gets underway in Congress, special education advocates are sounding the alarm about big cuts that may be on the horizon. Though detailed proposals have yet to be released, the Council for Exceptional Children — which lobbies on behalf of special educators — is estimating that such cuts would mean more than $2 billion less for programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act."
"Too often, special education is viewed as a place or a static state, when the truth is that special education is a series of interventions, modifications, and accommodations afforded to students who are unable to access a curriculum under routine circumstances."
Discover some benefits of expanded learning!
Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity
"Students with slower processing speeds or executive-function problems are often no different from their peers in math proficiency in first and second grade; but as they confront multistep computations in upper elementary school tests, their scores tumble because they lack the skills necessary to produce organized, efficient output. These students aren’t losing their earlier skill base. New tasks demand efficient processing in different domains. These skills are often difficult for dyslexic students."
"Brett Cooper, a fifth grade teacher at Lewiston Elementary School in Columbia County, GA, wrote a white paper titled, "Listen up - using audio books to help improve reading." Cooper measured marked student improvement in reading scores as a result of introducing audio books to a classroom reading period each day."
Bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus
"The Bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus is pleased to announce that Representative Julia Brownley will serve as the co-chair to the Bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus with Representative Bill Cassidy for the 113th Congress."
"For many, music is a great source of pleasure and a great way both to express yourself and even to escape. Music and other forms of art can be all of this and more for all children, including kids with learning disabilities (LD) and special needs. But have you faced challenges relate to your child’s LD in the musical arena that make learning to play an instrument, understand musicality, memorize lyrics or read music challenging for your child?"
"In our increasingly digital self-service economy technology now dominates shopping, entertainment, work and communication, as well as citizenship itself, but age and disability are barring people from full participation. Organizations like AbilityNet, Go ON UK and its disability focused partner, Go ON Gold, are making great strides to close the gap between the computer literate and the technologically disenfranchised, but the gulf is wider than that. AbilityNet’s new digital inclusion strategy ‘Mind the Digital Gap’ looks at the obstacles faced by the huge numbers of people who struggle to use digital technologies that are badly designed and just don't meet their needs."